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Please evaluate my appeal letter...

vaganvagan Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
Is this too long? Are my reasons cogent? here we go...

I would like to appeal for admission to UCLA in light of the personal hardships I have faced during my high school years. In 2001, I moved to the United States along with my family. Unfortunately, after I have attended the eighth grade in America for ten months, a misfortune struck our family. My mom was diagnosed with achalasia cardia, a disorder which causes her to throw up shortly after she had her meal. Since it became almost impossible for her to eat, the doctors recommended that mom try a surgical therapy. However, as we could not afford the cost of surgery in United States, we had to fly back in 2002 to settle for a less expensive alternative in Myanmar. Having to go back to a country where dictators control everything, my dream was temporarily shattered. Though my parents sent me to a private school to be in touch with English language, I had to transfer out after a year because my family can no longer pay for both my mom’s medical bills and my school fees. Thus, I ended up going to a public school in my sophomore year.
In addition to the hardships, I would like to appeal over the sophomore grades I reported in my original application because of the unusual grading system public schools in Myanmar use. Although all the subjects were out of a hundred points, for subjects like Myanmar and English, seventy-five to a hundred is a distinction and for subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics, eighty to a hundred is a distinction. (For verification, I have requested and included the converted grades from my Myanmar school along with this appeal letter).
By the end of my sophomore year, mom had recovered to a certain extent from her surgery. Eager to study in United States, my sister and I asked for mom and dad’s permission and gathered the courage to come back here alone. Although we were happy to be in United States again, we had to face many problems. It was hard for us to take necessary shots for school at the health center, take English Proficiency Test at the School District, and even go to supermarkets to buy food or water because we did not have a car. Since I could not attend high school until I have all the required shots, I was late to attend my classes. I also had to retake Chemistry and Physics in my junior and senior year because my high school did not give me credit for the classes I took in Myanmar. All these hardships and the effect of having to move from school to school every year had greatly impacted my academic history. I therefore would like the admission officers to reconsider me for admission to UCLA.
Post edited by vagan on

Replies to: Please evaluate my appeal letter...

  • rollie_pollie_ollie1515rollie_pollie_ollie1515 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Hey Vagan,
    Did any of your three essays revolve around this specific topic? If so, it might be redundant. Anyways, my corrections are in CAPS:
    I would like to appeal for admission to UCLA in light of the personal hardships I have faced during my high school years. In 2001, I moved to the United States along with my family. Unfortunately, after I haD attended the eighth grade in America for ten months, a misfortune struck MY family. My mom was diagnosed with achalasia cardia, a disorder which causes her to throw up shortly after she HAS had her meal. Since it became almost impossible for her to eat, the doctors recommended that mom try a surgical therapy. However, as we could not afford the cost of surgery in United States, we had to fly back tO MYANMAR in 2002 to settle for a less expensive alternative. Having to go back to a country where dictators control everything, my dream was temporarily shattered. Though my parents sent me to a private school to be in touch with English language, I had to transfer out after a year because my family cOULD no longer pay for both my mom’s medical bills and my school fees. Thus, I ended up going to a public school in my sophomore year.
    In addition to the hardships, I would like to appeal over the sophomore grades I reported in my original application because of MYANMAR's unusual public school grading system . Although all the subjects were out of a hundred points, for subjects like Myanmar and English, seventy-five to a hundred is a distinction and for subjects like Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics, eighty to a hundred is a distinction. (For verification, I have requested and included the converted grades from my Myanmar school along with this appeal letter).
    By the end of my sophomore year, mom had recovered to a certain extent from her surgery. Eager to study in United States, my sister and I asked for MY PARENTs' permission and gathered the courage to come back here alone. Although we were happy to be in United States again, we had to face many problems. It was hard for us to take necessary shots for school at the health center, take THE English Proficiency Test at the School District, and even go to supermarkets to buy food or water because we did not have a car. Since I could not attend high school until I haD all the required shots, I was late to attend my classes. I also had to retake Chemistry and Physics in my junior and senior yearS because my high school did not give me credit for the classes I took in Myanmar. All these hardships and the effect of having to move from school to school every year haS greatly impacted my academic history. I therefore would like the admission officers to reconsider me for admission to UCLA.
    I hope you get in ;)
  • vaganvagan Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    Thanks for helping rollie. No, I didn't say any of this in three of my essays because my sister is writing about this topic. She is currently going to a community college and also transferring this year. I just didn't write about this topic because I thought it wasn't good for both of us to write on the same topic even though both of us share the same experience.
  • smiles77smiles77 Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    just to let you know, but not to discourage you or anything to still appeal, to get in through an appeal process is slim to none. i do, however, wish you the best of luck.
  • dodgerbluedodgerblue Registered User Posts: 380 Member
    That's quite a story. That is definitely a good grounds for appeal in my opinion. I appealed as well, and my letter was similar length. Anyway, good luck, and maybe we'll both be fortunate enough to see eachother in westwood next year.
  • vaganvagan Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    thanks dodgerblue. I hope so. Good luck to both of us.
  • unlimitedxunlimitedx Registered User Posts: 3,007 Senior Member
    A letter itself is not enough for appeal in my opinion, no matter what circumstances you describe. I'd say supplementing your appeal with a letter of recommendation that validates some of your claims will greatly enhance your chances.

    Not saying you are lying, but through the years I'm pretty sure the admissions people have seen and heard it all so you need more than just a letter.
  • kellyconn1kellyconn1 . Posts: 317 Member
    hi i am sorry to hear of your heartbreaking story, you have not had an easy time. First, is UCLA your aboslute first choice? have you been offered admission at any other UC campus? would transferring next year be an option? Being a decent myself, although I think your letter speaks from the heart, a few suggested changes.

    I would not put My mom was diagnosed with achalasia cardia, a disorder which causes her to throw up shortly after she had her meal

    Word it instead,

    I would not put My mom was diagnosed with achalasia cardia, a severe and debilitating illness which makes keeping food down almost impossible and almost always as in my Mothers case, makes hospitalization necessary over a long time frame. Clearly, this was devastating for our entire family and our efforts, emotions and finances were all exhautsted into seeing her get the proper care. This did however, involve having to return to our country_____________. The emotional turmoil this brought to my siblings and I was enormous, as you can imagine.

    At the end I would end it with something like, attending UCLA has been a life long dream, I am confident that I can be successful there and am aware of the fact that my initial application could not possibly reveal the extent of my hardships. I ask you from the bottom of my heart to consider me for admittance, and assure you that I am ready and fully willing to work hard to succeed at UCLA.

    Sincerely,
    _________________

    Then finish with the part about your country and the political situation...etc....just a thought! I just thought the part about throwing up was not worded appropriately and did not sound dire enough.

    I wish you the best of luck!
  • vaganvagan Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    Thank you guys for helping out.
    kellyconn1, I think you are right about the throwing up part. My english isn't that good, so thanks for the heads up. I have been admitted to UCSD. But, I am hesitant about going there because I've heard that the rent is expensive in La Jolla area. I am just preparing this letter right now as I am also waiting for my sister's transfer decisions. My another question is, am I binded to UCLA if I appeal to there? Because it is better for both of us to go to the same school since it would save us a lot of money. I have yet to hear from UCB also even though I think chances are slim.
    unlimitedx, Are you talking about asking someone who knows about my life to write me a recommendation letter or just a recommendation in general?
    Once again, thanks.
  • smiles77smiles77 Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
    a signed letter documentation from a doctor or something that treated your mother would be helpful and help the admissions understand that it was a serious and legit matter that you had to execute moving and stuff. also, getting accepted through an appeal is not binding. although i would assume that the only reason why you're appealing is because you want to go there right? or what use would it be. also, rent in the Westwood area is not any cheaper and if not, more, than the La Jolla area. Westwood is in West LA which is near Bel Air and Beverly Hills, what else would you expect.
  • Bill5Bill5 Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    "Since I could not attend high school until I have all the required shots, I was late to attend my classes."

    I think this sentence would be a bit more clear if you said "...I wasn't able to register for classes on time." or something like that, it's mostly just register or whatever instead of using attend.

    "I therefore would like the admission officers to reconsider me for admission to UCLA."

    Personally, I think "Therefore, I would..." sounds a lot better but that's just me.

    Good luck, really hope everything works out for you and your sister.
  • __allie____allie__ Registered User Posts: 3,066 Senior Member
    Just to let you know....rent in Westwood is definitely the same or higher than in La Jolla.


    Just a heads up.
  • dh999dh999 Registered User Posts: 336 Member
    Please email danielhagos at [email]danielhagos****[/email]

    He is a self proclaimed student admissions officers and he might be able to help you.
  • vaganvagan Registered User Posts: 164 Junior Member
    Thanks for the heads up __allie__ and smiles77.
    Bill5, thanks for helping me correct the errors.
This discussion has been closed.